Callum's story

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This website has been created by young people whose brothers or sisters have died. There are multiple stories from young people about their experiences. This is the story of Callum, whose brother Liam died from cancer.


I was twelve years old when by brother died from cancer, he was just 14.

I spent four years of my life seeing Liam battle cancer. Thousands of pills and treatments, hundreds of hospital appointments and tens of surgeries. At times it looked like he was invincible - despite being told that his cancer made him terminally ill. For me, this made it even harder when he died. I never expected it.

I'm now 21, it's been 9 years since Liam died and I still think about him every day. As a young teenager, I never discussed Liam's death to anyone. Being questioned about him, or discussing memories, would reduce me to tears and (after learning to control my emotions) avoiding the subject by switching the conversation. Two things I have learned though is that I am not alone and everyone experiences grief differently.

When Liam died it felt like there was no one who understood my pain. People at school, however sympathetic, would continue their daily lives. Friends would argue with their brothers, something I felt they took for granted. I never spoke about my frustrations but they came from the belief that I was alone. Recently, I have realised there are other young people in similar situations. By hearing about other young people that have lost a sibling, I felt less lonely. People do understand my pain. As time has gone on, I have also been more open to my friends. Rather than ignoring the subject, I am more open with my emotions. I talk about Liam lots and even if your friends have not been through similar experiences, most friends will always be there for you.

Being open with my emotions has allowed me to deal with the feelings I would often internalise, these feelings would eventually bottle up and explode. Other people, however, grieve in very different ways. There's no set formula on how you should feel - it took me many years to effectively mourn. Other young people that gave ideas for content on this site have had various different experiences. Its important to remember that we all experience grief in different ways and that t people are there for you.

I've also learned to deal with dreaded questions like "How many siblings do you have?" and things like, "You're Liam's brother, wait sorry I mean you were Liam's brother, right?" - by being honest, having a bit of dark humor and being open with myself.

There are organisations out there who can help, like Child Bereavement UK, Winstons Wish, your doctor and so on. Remember: you're not alone, be open with your emotions and speak to people if you want to.



If these stories remind you of moments you have experienced, or you want to discuss how you feel you can contact us by emailing hello@siblingsupport.co.uk. If you want to tell your story (you don't have to use your real name) message us - story@siblingsupport.co.uk